Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Andrea Bottaro fisks Behes 'response'

Continuing on with a similar theme to yesterday, I noticed that Andrea Bottaro has given the response Behe wrote about Judge Jones' decision a fisking and a half. I particularly liked this statement by Andrea, which emphasises a point that I was trying to make with my earlier post.
Alas, science is a communal enterprise, and it is the community of scientists which decides which claims are refuted, and which stand. They do so mostly by voting with their own hands, so to speak: scientists will choose to use in their daily work, to formulate new hypotheses, to design experiments and to pursue intellectually, those claims they think are valid, and ignore those that are not. In this respect, the contrast between the vibrant field of evolutionary biology, with its continuous stream of publications and its numerous applications (in biotechnology, genomics, medicine, etc), and ID, which by Behe’s own admission has generated close to nothing in terms of scientific output of any kind (including non-peer-reviewed works), could not be starker and more damning.
Exactly. Behe believes that so long as he remains 'unconvinced' that the evidence for the immune system evolving (for example) is insufficient, then by some sort of almost divine edict it somehow becomes the responsibility for other scientists to prove him wrong. Science does not progress by claiming the moon is made of cheese then demanding NASA prove you incorrect. Instead, you need to prove there is cheese to begin with and then the responsibility of coming up with a better explanation falls on your detractors.